Asher Fisch conducts The Planets

Masters Series

Friday 27 & Saturday 28 August 2021, 7:30pm

Perth Concert Hall

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West Australian Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners, Custodians and Elders of the Indigenous Nations across Western Australia and on whose Lands we work.

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Concert Program

Richard WAGNER The Flying Dutchman: Overture (11 mins)

Alban BERG Three Pieces for Orchestra (20 mins)

Interval (25 mins)

Gustav HOLST The Planets (48 mins)
Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic

Asher Fisch conductor
WASO Chorus
UWA Symphonic Chorus

Asher Fisch appears courtesy of Wesfarmers Arts.

Wesfarmers Arts Pre-concert Talk

Find out more about the music in the concert with this week’s speaker, Ashley Smith. The Pre-concert Talk will take place at 6.45pm in the Terrace Level Foyer.

Listen to WASO

This performance is recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic on Sunday 10 October, 1pm AWST (subject to change). For further details visit

WASO speaks with an astrophysicist about The Planets

Did you know?

In 1839, Wagner and his wife fled Eastern Prussia across the North Sea towards London. Several thunderstorms tossed the ship so violently that the usual 8-day journey took almost 4 weeks.

This voyage, and a poem by Heinrich Heine about the dark, churning sea, inspired Wagner’s supernatural opera, The Flying Dutchman.

WASO Principal Conductor Asher Fisch has always wanted to conduct Three Pieces for Orchestra. Hear the maestro bring his touch to the work for the first time!

Holst developed a love for astrology which went on to inspire his composition of The Planets. He admitted that casting horoscopes for his friends was his “pet vice”.

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Did you know?

Holst was first inspired to compose The Planets after a discussion about astrology piqued his interest in horoscopes.

The Planets depicts a series of mood pictures in which planetary influence acts as the metaphor, in the same way as horoscopes allow planetary ruling to provide a framework for personality types.

See how Holst laid out his psychological journey…

Mars, the Bringer of War

Mars’ moons are Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror), and its astrological symbol is composed of a spear and shield. Depicted by a fierce, remorseless allegro.

Venus, the Bringer of Peace

Astrologer Noel Tyl says that “when the disorder of Mars is past, Venus restores peace and harmony.” Depicted by an adagio, giving way to tranquil flutes, harps and celesta.

Mercury, the Winged Messenger

To astrologers, Mercury is “the thinker.” Depicted by a virtuosic scherzo; unstable, nervously changeable in meter and harmony—in a word, mercurial.

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity

Buoyant and exuberant music. The broad tune in the middle section embodies the traits of nobility and generosity; astrological characteristics for those born under Jupiter.

Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

Noel Tyl describes Saturn as “man’s time on earth, his ambition…his disappointments.” Depicted by a slow processional adagio, rising to a climax before fading away as if into the reaches of space.

Uranus, the Magician

In astrology, Uranus rules invention, innovation, and astrology itself. Beginning with tremendous triple invocation, a galumphing dance then leads the way.

Neptune, the Mystic

Invisible to the naked eye, Neptune speaks of distance and mystery. Depicted by a slow movement with swaying, irregular meter, softly dissonant in harmony, full of shimmering harps and celesta.

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Upcoming Patrons and Friends Events

2022 Season Launch
Thursday 9 September, 6.30pm
Perth Concert Hall
Be the first to know about the 2022 Season while receiving exclusive insights from our Artistic Planning team.

Judy Sienkiewicz Lecture – An evening with your Annual Giving Ambassadors
Wednesday 29 September, 7pm*
Perth Concert Hall

Spend an evening with our inaugural Ambassadors Graeme Norris and Jenna Smith, as they give fascinating insight into their life as musicians and share their love of music with you.

Last Night of the Proms – Rehearsal Viewings
Thursday 11 November,
3.30pm & 7pm

Be prepared to warm your voice and rouse your party spirit as we enjoy a sneak peek of the ever popular 2021 Proms program, under the baton of the beloved Guy Noble.

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A recording of this performance will be broadcast on ABC Classic FM, Sunday 10 October, 1.00pm AWST (subject to change).

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